List What You're Self-Tracking!

It would be super motivating to see the kinds of things we’re all figuring out how to track well. Post your list as a reply-- maybe you can inspire someone else to track similar things!

Here’s what I’m automatically tracking, along with tracking interval (in parentheses):

  • GPS coordinates (5 min)
  • 3D Speed (5 min)
  • 3D Direction/azimuth (5 min)
  • Altitude (5 min)
  • Desktop screenshot (5 min)
  • Webcam capture (5 min)
  • Currently active webpage, if browser is open (5 min)

Also, I have programmed my to-do list webapp to ask me randomized questions at randomized intervals throughout the day. The questions are single barrel, short, and pointed. I see one question at a time, answer it, and go back to my work with minimal interruption.

Questions are answered on whatever numerical scale (typically Likert-type strongly disagree --> strongly agree, or quantities like oz. of water consumed so far today, or stored as 1/0 yes/no answers) that makes sense for each question. The questions:

  • Rate my servant leadership to my family during the past 24 hours
  • Ounces of water intaken so far today:
  • In pounds, I weighed during this morning’s weigh-in:
  • Our degree of church involvement is:
  • Was my quiet time this morning QUALITY time?
  • The number of marriage enrichment I spent in the past 24 hours was:
  • The number of viable job switch postings I have received in the past 24 hours is:
  • In the past 24 hours, I spent this many hours specifically focused on helping to achieve my wife’s dreams:
  • Over the past 24 hours, my communication with my wife has been open:
  • Over the past 24 hours, my communication with my wife has been tender:
  • Over the past 24 hours, my communication with my wife has been thorough:
  • I rate my productivity at this moment as:
  • My current activity is directly moving me toward my goals:
  • I drank this many ounces of coffee this morning:
  • In the past 24 hours, I was deliberately affectionate with my wife
  • initiated the last loving action between me and my wife
  • Is the budget outlook for this month better than last month?
  • This month I have concretely boosted safety and security of my family
  • I took my vitamins this morning
  • Comment: what is the one big task i m procrastinating?
  • How would I rate my current physical strength:
  • How would I rate my current dexterity:
  • How would I rate my current physical stamina:
  • How would I rate my current intelligence:
  • How would I rate my current charisma:
  • How would I rate my current perceptiveness:
  • How hungry am I right now:
  • How thirsty am I right now:
  • I am a failure:
  • I am effective at teaching:
  • I am effective as a research designer:
  • I am effective as a publication writer:
  • I am effective as a student mentor:
  • I am effective as a husband:
  • I am effective as a family member:
  • I am effective as a member of my community:
  • Evaluate: i feel positive about my marriage:
  • My current physiological pain level is:
  • I bicycle commuted today:
  • M was on-time to my most recent meeting:
  • My current focus level is:
  • My current physical energy level is:
  • My current emotional energy level is:
  • I am not procrastinating my most important task right now
  • My current love level is:
  • My current joy level is:
  • My current peace level is:
  • My current patience level is:
  • My current kindness level is:
  • My current gentleness level is:
  • My current self-control level is:
  • My current goodness level is:
  • My current faithfulness level is:
  • How deeply do I feel I slept last night:
  • Last night i got myself to bed on-time:
  • Last night i got my wife to bed on-time:
  • I have already spent time today on publications:
  • Current happiness level:
  • What time did i go to bed last night?
  • My last snack was how many minutes ago?
  • My last sip of water was how many minutes ago?

Usually, 10-20 questions get answered each day as I refer to my to-do list at work and at home. It is also REALLY interesting to ask my wife the same questions and see how our answers are similar or different. :slight_smile:

I dump all the responses into a generalized web database where scripts can chew through everything and run stats analyses/generate visualization without eating up my laptop CPU or storage space.

I would like to capture more physiological data, but I am still wrestling with making that as automated as all of the above are-- there’s zero thought or planning needed to capture the above, but biological stuff needs a lot more conscious effort. If you have suggestions, let me know.

So far I’m adding 1-2 questions a week-- maybe more if you guys and gals are tracking some interesting stuff that I’m not. :slight_smile:


I’m tracking:

  1. weight (once/day)
  2. fasting blood sugar (once/day)
  3. brain function (via a reaction time test) (2-3 times/day)
  4. sleep

ThisUsernameIsNotMyRealName, I’m curious how long you have been doing this. What are you hoping to learn? What have you already learned?

The first thing I’d need to know when undertaking any new tracking activity, and wish to know of others, is “why am I/you doing this; what’s the purpose?”

My initial reason for tracking my exercise amounts and 3-yearly health check-ups was to enhance my longevity by optimising my health. On my way to that, I needed to know how to measure success (difficult). My present, shorter goal, is managing my cancerousness and blood pressure downwards to normal levels. In the former, it is into a region where no cancer is detectable; the latter, about 120/80.

So I am tracking, broadly, five sets of variables - four independent sets and a set of dependent ones

The independent ones cover:
21 Physical: exercise, and such CAM things as electrification, oxygenation, heating
144 Supplements: from AGE Blocker to Zinc
47 Nutrition: from Alcohol to Xylitol
33 Drugs: from Amlodopine to Zantac

The dependent ones cover five sub-sets:
9 excretory
30 body composition
16 cancer markers
74 Biochemical markers, only 21 tracked daily
3 cardio-vascular

As I have yet to see any evidence that mood, sleep patterns, or any other daily activities not listed above have any effect on my goal of optimum health, I am not tracking them.

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Hey, Seth Roberts,
Informally, I’ve been keeping an eye on most of my input variables for a long time. They’re a big part of the set of what is interesting to me regarding how things are going. I’ve been tracking responses (automated prompting and databasing) formally now about a week. Part of my training is in behavioral psychology (stuff like Elaboration Likelihood Modeling and the Theory of Planned Behavior are common in my field) so measuring all sorts of stuff feels pretty comfortable to me.

I’m hoping to be able to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff: the strongest drivers of quality of life in my particular case. It’ll be interesting to see how well it lines up with existing research. :slight_smile:

So far I have learned a lot(!) about methods and data capture in particular-- in my role as a big-data-oriented university tenure track dork, I see that automating data collection and analyses 100% is key for my situation. I have zero time or energy to berate myself into collecting monitoring data manually. Consistency is terrible that way. So, passive data collection helps to boost the dataset size and quality.

I’ve been pondering observer-expectancy effects. Some of my research relies very heavily on unobtrusive observation to help ensure that participants aren’t acting unusually. So, this is something I’m comfortable and familiar with. If I’m not thinking about the logging/data collection, I’m more likely to act in a usual way, I think, though I will need to examine the data to really know.

I have not yet learned much about results or analyses. My contract with myself is to allow the current trial to run for a week or two before I dive back in to make method changes based on what I find. Since I’m generating 1000+ data log points each day, that’ll hopefully yield a big enough set for some basic exploratory analyses: summary stats, correlations, heat surfacing for the geodata, post-hoc grouping stats, pixelwise image and OCR text analyses from the webcam and screenshot data, stuff like that. Like I said, I’m a dork! Ha!

I’m currently building the queries and scripts to generate a nicely detailed, formatted report on “how’s it going?” based on what I find. I hope to contribute all that back to the community. Blue sky dreaming, I’d love to publicly release the web tools I’m writing, but I don’t know enough about security programming for people to trust highly personal information to my care! The methodology of lifelogging and the stats are fine and familiar, but scaling up the application to users is beyond my training.

Whew, long post.

Here’s what I’m tracking and monitoring (looking at data summaries on a regular basis):

  • What I drink (including estimated/actual ounces)
  • What I eat (again including estimated/actual amounts)
  • Exercise (# pushups, #crunches, time/distance of bike rides, weight, pre/post-cardio pulse, steps per day)
  • Mood (two dimensional five point Likert scale, polled every hour with keywords for what I am doing)
  • Meditation (time and posture)
  • Ideas and thoughts (like twitter, but just to myself)

Things I am tracking but not looking at in any way:

  • Weather (indoor/outdoor temp and humidity, barometer)
  • Email

I haven’t done any real analysis yet, but I think I have enough mood data to do some basic analyses (work vs. non-work, weekends vs. weekdays, mood as a function of time since exercise).

How on earth are you tracking 377 variables? In terms of your workflow, I mean. This must chew up a lot of time?


I’ve only just picked up your comment - my visit here is very sporadic.

My self-tracking is somewhat time-consuming - about 2 hours/day I’d say.

However, I think it will pay off. Perhaps the first concrete result (other than exercise makes little difference to body composition) is recent, when I found that - contrary to the nephrologist’s advice - it is the proportion of vegetable protein to that of total protein that enhances my kidney’s improvement. Not fish protein (as recommended), which worsens it; nor animal protein, which also worsens it, but not as badly as fish.


I am currently tracking:

  1. calories, fruit and veggies servings, items, weight - using my own app that I made in rfo-basic:
  2. pulse - just using a free camera app along with KeepTrack for Android
  3. miles driven - with Keeptrack
  4. bank account balances- with
  5. weekly steps - with a cheap Omron Pedometer and KeepTrack
  6. dining expenses -again with my own app:

I would like to use a FitBit to track my sleep but I have a nasty habit of losing those things :slight_smile:

If you would like to try making your own simple apps for Android, I highly recommend rfo-basic:

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